Rajon Rondo out for Game 5, declared a ‘long shot’ to return in series
Rajon Rondo managed to take some jumpers for the second consecutive day before practice Tuesday despite a right thumb fracture and wrist injury suffered in Game 2 of the Chicago Bulls’ series against the Boston Celtics. But the injuries are too much to overcome in such short time and Rondo has been declared out for Wednesday’s Game 5.
While it’s encouraging to see Rondo on the floor — albeit in a very limited capacity — Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg pumped the brakes a bit on the notion Rondo will see the floor again during the series, despite how the hard cast expected to be on Rondo’s thumb for at least a week was noticeably absent both Monday and Tuesday.
“This is honestly the first time he’s touched a basketball with that right hand,” Hoiberg said, via ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes. He’s going to continue to condition and do everything that he can. He was in the weight room yesterday getting a good session in there. It was his first time back in the weight room. He’s just getting this whole process started.”
The Bulls clearly have missed Rondo, who was averaging 11.5 points and 10 assists a game in this series. With Rondo leading the way, the eighth-seeded Bulls stormed out to a surprising 2-0 series with consecutive road wins. But the Bulls then dropped back-to-back games to the Celtics on their home court.
Hoiberg went on to call Rondo’s return a “long shot,” but that doesn’t mean he is completely ruling out Rondo’s return during the series.
“It’s so early in the process,” Hoiberg said. “Just watching him wince a little bit as the ball was coming to him makes me think it’s a long shot, but if there’s anybody that can do it, will try to fight through it, it’s Rondo. Just because the competitor that he is and obviously wanting to get back out there. Doing everything that he can to put himself into position, knowing that it’s obviously still a long shot for that to happen.”